Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dinosaur ROAR!

Ollie's 3rd birthday party is this Saturday, and it is a dinosaur theme.
So, we are doing all things dinosaur this week for crafts.
Today we made two crafty dinosaurs that we will be hanging as decorations for the party.
I downloaded a template for the first dinosaur from the All Kids Network here.

Then I copied it by free handing it on heavy weight construction paper with a black marker. Next I asked Ollie to color it in, and then glue "spots" on it.

Next he applied little pom poms to the spots.
We added a googly eye and then started the next one!

I just free handed this triceratops
(I guess I have been staring at a lot of dinosaurs lately, since Ollie is so obsessed!)

Next he colored it in,

Then we added another googly eye.
(Something about these eyes makes Ollie laugh like crazy!)

More glue for spots,

And there we have it! (Please excuse the runny nose!)

We will make a few each day this week.
After they dry we will cut them out and hang them as decorations
for our little birthday party!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Funky Playdough Caterpillar

So you know when your toddler has basically mish-mashed all of the playdough colors into one? Well, here is a fun idea that I found (somewhere, long ago, PLEASE FORGIVE ME because I can't possibly remember where).

Playdough Caterpillar

Roll play dough into balls about golf-ball size.

Use a skewer (Mommy or Daddy does this part) to push a hole through the middle.

Next comes the hard part--put the balls on a windowsill out of reach of little hands for a few days to dry. Ollie would ask me over and over--is it dry yet???

When the balls have hardened, help your little one to string them on a pipe cleaner. depending on the size of your play dough balls (or the number) you may have to link two pipe cleaners together.

Next, fashion antennae out of a pipe cleaner. (Don't forget to twist the ends so that the balls do not come off.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Crazy Hat Day

Here's an easy craft!

Materials: whatever you have lying around!

I made a band of paper a few inches thick and held it around our heads
to fit to size and then stapled them twice (I taped Ollie's to be safe).

I made Ollie a crown,
I made his Dad a bird that Ollie colored,
and I gave myself a fun flower.

Then we had a crazy hat parade!

The best thing was that it was TOTALLY spontaneous!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

We Love Sidewalk Chalk!

I really like to bring as much of an opportunity for art into my children's lives as I can. These can mean anything from taking them to a museum, to something as small as making sure that they have access to art supplies. Sidewalk chalk is a perfect way to bring art outdoors for toddlers.

Ollie really loves his sidewalk chalk. I keep a covered plastic container of it on the porch. That way, when he is playing outside he can just grab it and get down to business whenever he feels like it.

Our house has these really interesting little pavers that make up the walkway up to the driveway. He really likes to color insde them. I also use them to write out numbers or letters. Now looking at these photos, I think we could make a great turtle, or a soccer ball!

His birthday is coming up, and I plan to get up really early before Ollie does, and make a huge dinosaur in the driveway. That way he can look ot his window and see it on his birthday morning (his birthday is a dinosaur theme this year).

What are some ways that you have been able to bring art outdoors for your children?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Easy Ollie Tarts

Like many of you, I have a picky eater in my Ollie. I don't know when it happened, but one day he was 12 months old and eating diced roast beef and stewed tomatoes right off of my plate to being an almost-three year old who eats nothing but peanut butter sandwiches.

I have been trying to involve him in meal prep to get him interested, and so today when realized I had leftover homemade pie dough in the fridge and some blueberries, an almost over-ripe peach and a few scant apples, I decided to make tarts.

First, I separated the dough into pieces about the size of a golf ball. Then Ollie and I patted them down on a baking sheet. I then finessed them a little so that they had raised edges, and would hold the fillings in a little better.

Next, Ollie dropped blueberries into the tarts, and counted as he went along. It is so funny when he gets past ten: "eleven, twelve, thirteen, five-teen, sixteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-ten ..." Eeeee, yikes. We are working on it.

I had cut up the peach and the apples before hand. I have found that when working on anything with my little man, (whose attention span is shorter than the tail on a bear), everything must be ready ahead of time. (Honestly, he was already getting a little bored by this point.)

The bonus? He just started eating apple slices! That's right, no cajoling, pleading, I'm-on-my-knees-begging was involved. Ahhh. Spontaneity. Love it.

Ah-hem . . . yes, that is the same hand he was jut eating apple slices with that is now putting them in the tart. Hey, I just have to put it out there--if you are coming to my house for tarts, I can't guarantee that there will be no toddler contamination involved!

Yes, yes, I prettied them up a bit, and sprinkled some sugar and cinnamon on them.

Just look at how precious the peach one is!

I put them in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. And here they are: JUST STUNNING!

And lookey here! They taste good too!

Happy baking!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A is for Alligator

Here is a fun craft that we are going to do for our alphabet comprehension.

card stock
colored or scrapbooking paper
googly eye

When we craft I try to reuse materials so that my out-of-pocket expenses are minimal.

Ollie's grandad sent him a book in the mail the other day and
the cardboard that he packaged it in was perfect for this idea.

First I drew an A about 5" high on bright yellow cardstock and cut it out. I asked Ollie if he thought the alligator should be eating the A and he said yet and got very excited.

Next I freehanded an alligator shape on the cardboard.

I let Ollie go to town on the alligator with a glue stick.
Next, he placed little triangles that I had cut out of scrapbook paper all over the alligator.

Then he glued on a googley eye, and pasted the A in the alligator's mouth.

A few final artistic flourishes,

and VOILA!

Hmmm . . what shall the B be for?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Scrapbook Paper Letters

I try to do a craft with Ollie every day. It is special time for just he and I, and he really looks forward to it. I get great inspiration from around the web, but yesterday came up with an idea of my own.

I have wanted to put up a banner for Spring. I also have a ton of leftover scrapbooking paper that I need to use up. James loves to glue right now, and so I drew big letters on cardstock, and cut scraps of paper for him to glue. (I did the gluing this time and he did the sticking).

This was fun because we were able to have fun and learn at the same time--sounding out letters, spelling, and talking about what season it is.

After we finished gluing, I cut the letters out and hole punched them to hang. Ollie inserted pipe cleaners to hang them from a ribbon we ran across the mantel in the livingroom.

How much fun is this? Tomorrow we are going to make some ducks and butterflies and flowers to hang in between the letters.